SYRACUSE — Syracuse Park Board met at its regular meeting time Monday evening, June 11. The next scheduled meeting is at 7 p.m. July 9. The board reviewed the details of the 2019 budget proposal as well as full and part-time positions within the parks department.
As the board read over the 2019 budget proposal Parks Superintendent Chad Jonsson presented, he went through the breakdown of the budget. He commented about leaving some parts vague due to not knowing who will be hired for the program director position, but will have solid numbers at the July meeting.
An extensive discussion ensued regarding the amount of overtime employees work as well as one part-time position becoming full time. Due to the amount of full-time employees and the fact many events take place during the evenings and weekends, overtime is inevitable for positions like program director and maintenance. There are also events that require multiple staff members to attend.
Some board members commented it sounded like the parks department needed the help it was seeking by making a part-time position full time. They agreed Jonsson would have the best perspective on the situation, to which Jonsson replied it would help a lot.
David Johnston said it would be a good idea and if it would make the department run more efficiently while cutting down on the overtime hours while keeping employees satisfied, the decision to make the part-time position full time was a “no-brainer.” Final decisions will be made in July when the next draft of the budget proposal is reviewed.
Judo, pickleball and the farmers and artisans market continue on a regular basis.
The summer lunch program meets at Lakeside Park to serve lunch at noon Monday through Friday, and is available for anyone under the age of 18. If it happens to rain, lunch then moves in the community center.
The fourth annual Mudtastic Classic will be Saturday, June 23, at the WACF. Check in begins at 8 a.m. Those looking to register can do so at the community center or online at www.runreg.com. Volunteers are still needed and can contact the community center for more information.
Fireworks will shoot off over Syracuse Lake July 4. There will be food trucks and a live performance by the Lake Area Community Band at 7:30 p.m. at Lakeside Park.
The annual Syracuse Lions Club Fish Fry and Stan Fox Memorial Silent Auction will be from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. July 5, at the community center.
Lake Wawasee fireworks are scheduled for Saturday, July 7.
Tour des Lakes bike ride will be Saturday, July 14, starting at the community center. It isn’t a race but a leisurely bike ride around eight lakes in Kosciusko County, beautiful countryside and through small towns. There will be stops for snacks and drinks as well as a lunch after returning to the community center where there will be live music, a beer tent and more. For more information or to register, visit www.tourdeslakes.com.
Tour des Parks is a free family friendly 2.5 mile bike ride around the Syracuse parks system that will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 14, starting at the community center.
The parks department has partnered with Lakeland Youth Center to potentially have movie nights in Lakeside Park Friday nights around the gazebo.
On Wednesdays, kids can come to the community center to watch movies for 12 and under during the summer. A free bag of popcorn will be provided to view the movie at 1 p.m. in celebration hall.